This one shook me. It is a story of a serial killer and all of the above blurb. But it’s also the story of a girl who lost her little sister, a boy who was horribly abused, a parent who is a sociopath, a cat who reads the Bible and watches television and a lot of lies.
I really don’t want to say anymore than that. There was nothing nice about this story. It was horrific and chilling and all of the dark things no one talks about. There was no attempt to dress it up as a nice fairy tale. It was true darkness at it’s best.
I had at least 3 different ideas about what was happening and boy was I wrong! If this is the new dark Gothic, please bring it on!
Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.
Well the blurb sounds like an interesting mash up. And it is.
It’s the 90’s and our narrator, Patricia Campbell, has always wanted something more out of life. She gave up her nursing career after marrying a doctor and becoming a mother. But somehow, she isn’t living her best life. The days drag on and her kids are seriously ingrates! Her husband is never home and she just can’t seem to get it together.
Her only lifeline is her book club. A group of other Charleston moms joined by their love of true-crime and suspense.
Slick, Kitty, Maryellen, and the newest, Mrs. Green. I was equal parts frustrated with these ladies and cheering for them. They all have unique personalities and hidden talents.
When Patricia’s elderly neighbor losing her mind and attacks her, biting off an ear, she gets to meet a new man. Doing the good Southern thing, bringing food to the bereaved, she meets James Harris. Sensitive, interesting and new. He makes her feel things.The husbands love him.
Then local children start to go missing and she knows he is involved. No one is listening to her and the husbands are standing with James, who is supposedly making them money on an investment.
Is he a vampire or a serial killer?
Patricia won’t let it go. She digs and digs until she has what she needs, but it may come at an awful cost. She and her book club will face a monster and nothing will be the same again.
I loved these ladies. Seriously, you do not want to mess with a Southern women who has a feeling. And with friends like these, what happens in the South stays in the South.
My mother is born and bred Charleston. This would so be her and her friends. Passing books around and solving crime!
Author of The Winter Sister and Behind The Red Door is back with another twisty, shocking thriller!
Twenty-six- year-old Dahlia Lighthouse is returning to her family home. A place she hasn’t been back to for years. Taking the ferry across to the island she was raised on with her twin brother Andy and much older siblings, Charlie and Tate. Their father has died and they are all coming home to bury him.
Not that they particularly want to. Raised in a mansion in the woods, the neighbors called it the Murder Mansion. Isolated and home-schooled, Dahlia is unable to get past the terrible things that happened here. Totally unprepared for life and afraid to live.
The mother is obsessed with true crime. The father goes along with it and the four children are brought up on the ABC murders instead of the alphabet. The house is filled with murder memorablilia. The town thinks they are insane. The police chief is suspicious and keeps hanging around. Everything about this place is creepy and just not right.
Dahlia spends all her time trying to find her twin brother who went missing on their sixteenth birthday. Dahlia knows he ran away because of their unnatural home life.
When they are all together there is just something not right with her sister or brother. What are they hiding?
As the handyman digs the grave for the father he is shocked, along with everyone else, to find the bones of Andy. With an ax. Every one of them handles this so differently. Dahlia knows someone killed him and she isn’t going to stop until she knows the truth.
I think you should find out the rest on your own. This was a disturbing story. My favorite kind. The mother was doing murder reenactments and the sister makes dioramas of the victims for Instagram. The brother, well he’s just nuts.
There were so many suspects in this. There is also a sub-plot going on as well. Also about murder. I stayed up way too late reading this. It was worth it!
Florida State Police Agent, Amy Larson, never expected the sight she was about to see on the edge of the Everglades. Just off a remote road, but not far enough away that someone won’t see the horrible crime that has been committed and left for them to find.
This is some gory stuff going on here and it has the look of someone who has killed before. When the FBI jumps in with a similar case, we meet Agent Hunter Forrest. Yes, that is the name. He somehow has a lot of information on local cults and how they work and as we find out he also knows how to escape them.
There are plenty of suspicious characters. And none of them tell the entire truth, which leads one to think there is someone on the inside who they are all afraid of. But we never get enough information on that which could have been good.
This was not my favorite work by Graham. I didn’t feel I knew Amy at all and Hunter Forrest? That was predictable. What should have been a timely and thrilling story fell flat for me.
I do love Scandinavian Noir! And this one is creepy, scary, and oh so gory! Once I started reading it I could not stop. Okay, I could, but I didn’t.
Alice wants to make a documentary. She’s low on money and equipment but she has a good friend who will put up some money if he can come along. An old friend/enemy has also agreed to come and Alice hated asking her but she is good and interested.
Alice has been a bit obsessed with the residents who just vanished from the old mining town. In 1959 the mine closed and that same year her grandmother’s entire family disappeared. Sure people came in and looked around but all they found were empty houses and in the square one dead woman tied to a pole and in the school, a baby crying. They took the baby and the town was just forgotten. But not by Alice.
When her small team arrives the place is deserted. It looks as if people got up from dinner and never came back. From the first night, they all can feel something isn’t right. They are not alone here. As things heat up they don’t even trust each other. Every one of them has secrets and one is a real shocker.
Reading this book was like watching the Blair Witch Project. You wanted to turn away but you wanted to know the who and why of everything. I loved every scary, gory moment of this one!
NetGalley Review/ March 23rd, 2021 by Minotaur Books
A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?
DI Anjelica Henley is back on active duty with the SCU. She has no idea what she will face when called out to a crime scene.
By the river, dismembered body parts are washing up. While the crime has all of the marks of a serial killer she locked up not that long ago, she knows he is still in strict lockdown. Right?
The Jigsaw Killer. A total sociopath. No remorse, no second thoughts, just monstrous acts against people that would send the strongest of cops running.
When Anjelica can’t find answers she goes to the source. Peter Olivier. The Jigsaw Killer. Who also tried to kill her. He isn’t happy someone is copying his crimes. Not at all happy. Which is very scary for some people.
Horror at its finest! Hope to hear more about this!
A Sneak Peek:
‘How long have we got until the tide comes in?’ Henley was facing the river watching the small waves crashing against the derelict pier. She checked her watch. Nearly two hours had passed since the first 999 call.
‘I checked online, and high tide is at 9.55 a.m.’ Ramouter replied as he stepped around a half-submerged car tire, his eyes glazed with anxiety. ‘Low tide was at 3.15. Sunrise was at 6.32. A three-hour window for someone to dump whoever this is and hope that someone would find it before the tide comes in?’
‘Maybe,’ Henley acknowledged. ‘But for all we know it could have been dumped after sunrise or was dumped earlier upstream before being washed up here.’ She inspected the glass façade of the Borthwick Wharf, empty commercial spaces and work units that opened to the terrace and lacked security cameras. Henley doubted that the local council would have extended their own CCTV cameras to this part of the street. They had been neglecting this part of Deptford for as long as she could remember.
‘Has it been touched?’ Henley asked Anthony who had appeared at her side.
‘As far as I’m aware, it’s in situ. It wasn’t touched by the woman who found it. Matei, your builder, said that he hadn’t touched the legs but unhelpfully, it’s covered in his vomit. I had a quick look at the arms that were found downstream before I came here. From the looks of things, the treasure hunters may have prodded around a bit.’
‘There’s always one.’
The wind dropped and the air softly crackled with the electricity generated from the substation nearby.
‘We’re isolating the recovery of evidence to the direct path from the alleyway to the torso,’ said Anthony. ‘I doubt very much that whoever it was sat here and had a coffee afterwards.’
‘They may not have had a coffee, but if we go with Ramouter’s theory and the body parts have been dumped then whoever it was certainly knows the river,’ Henley replied. ‘We’ll let you get on. Ramouter and I are going to take a walk.’
‘Where are we going?’ asked Ramouter.
‘To meet Eastwood.’
‘And you want to walk it?’
Henley did her best to push aside her frustration when Ramouter pulled out his phone. ‘Google maps says that Greenwich pier is almost a mile away,’ he said.
‘Your body-part dumper isn’t the only one who knows the river,’ Anthony shouted out as Henley began to walk determinedly along the riverbank.
The gold scepters on the twin domed roofs of the Old Royal Naval College pierced the cloudless sky. The bare masts of the restored Cutty Sark completed the historical panoramic view that Greenwich was known for. It was a resplendent, whitewashed version of history that contrasted with the sewage that washed ashore. Henley stopped walking when she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of Ramouter’s leather soles slipping on wet pebbles.
‘Where are you from?’ Henley asked, waiting for Ramouter to take off his jacket and loosen his tie. She moved closer towards the moss-covered river wall as the tide began to encroach.
‘Born in West Bromwich. Moved to Bradford when I was twelve.’ Ramouter tried to brush off the bits of mud that had stuck to his trousers, but they only smeared more. ‘Lots of moors, no rivers. Surely it would have been quicker in the car.’
‘This is quicker. Unless you fancy sitting in traffic for the next half hour while they raise the Creek Road Bridge.’
‘You know this area well?’
Henley ignored the question. She didn’t see the point in telling him that she could have walked this path with her eyes closed. That this small part of South-East London was ingrained in her. ‘Whoever dumped the torso would have taken this route. It doesn’t make any sense to come down here, go back up to the street level and then drive up to Watergate Street. Out of sight, below street level. Lighting would have been minimal.’
‘Body parts are heavy though,’ Ramouter tried to quicken his step to catch up with Henley. ‘The human head weighs at least eight pounds.’
‘I know.’ Henley pulled out her mobile phone, which had started to ring. She saw who it was and ignored the call.
‘Head, torso, arms, legs. That’s at least six individual body parts.’
‘I know that also. So, tell me, what point are you making?’ Henley waited for Ramouter to reach her before maneuvering him towards the river wall as though she was chaperoning a child.
‘I’m just saying that that’s a lot of dead weight to be carrying around at three in morning.’ Ramouter paused and placed his hand against the wall, trying to catch his breath.
Henley didn’t openly express her agreement. She fished out a black hair band from her jacket pocket and pulled her thick black curls into a ponytail. She had forgotten how much energy it took to walk across the gradient slope of the riverbank. Worse, she felt mentally unprepared for the job ahead, with a trainee struggling behind her who had no idea this was her first time as senior investigator in almost a year.
‘It’s a bit grim, isn’t it?’ DC Roxanne Eastwood shouted out as Henley finally reached the first crime scene. ‘Morning, Ramouter. Not a bad gig for your first day.’
Henley had always thought that Eastwood actually looked and carried herself like a detective. Now, Eastwood was poised on the riverbank, the sleeves of her jacket rolled up with her notebook in her hand. She had come prepared for the river and was wearing a pair of jeans and trainers that had seen better days.
‘Morning, Eastie. How does it feel to be out of the office?’ Henley asked, her eyes drifting to a crime scene investigator who was putting an arm into a black bag.
‘I should be asking you that,’ said Eastwood, with a look of concern.
Henley silently appreciated the empathy and placed her hand on Eastwood’s shoulder.
‘But since you asked, it’s bloody terrible. I think I’ve got sunburn.’ Eastwood rubbed a hand over her reddening forehead. ‘Forensics are going to be wrapping up in a bit. Not that there’s much for them to do. Bag it and tag it.’
‘Where’s Mr Thomas?’
‘Ah, our illustrious treasure hunter. Last time I saw him he was heading towards the shops. Said that he needed to get some water for his dog.’ Eastwood shook her head, obviously not believing a word of it. ‘I’ve got an officer keeping an eye on him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already uploaded pictures of his find onto Instagram.’
‘I want him taken back to the station. Ramouter can take another statement from him.’ Henley said it purposely so that Ramouter would sense she was in control. ‘If he’s like most mudlarkers, he would have been out here first thing this morning waiting for the tide to go out. Where exactly were the arms found?’
‘Just over there.’ Eastwood pulled down her sunglasses and pointed towards the foamed waves created by a passing river bus. The tide had already come in where X had once marked the spot. A sense of urgency filled the air as the river regained its territory.
‘Did he say anything else?’
‘Only that he found the second arm about three feet away from the first.’
‘It’s a sick trail of breadcrumbs,’ said Henley.
‘You’re telling me and before you ask about CCTV, there’re loads of cameras—’
‘But none aimed at this part of the river.’
Henley’s mobile phone began to ring. She pulled it out and answered. After a quick chat, she ended the call.
‘That was Dr Linh Choi. You wouldn’t have met her yet but she’s our go-to forensic pathologist. She’s just arrived,’ Henley explained to Ramouter. She wiped away the sweat from the back of her neck.
‘So, we’ve got two arms, both legs and a torso,’ said Ramouter. ‘Where’s the head?’
Good question. Henley thought of the places between the two locations. A primary school, two nurseries and an adventure playground among the flats and houses. The last thing she needed was to find a head in the kids’ sandpit.
‘Can I have a quick look?’ Henley asked the assistant from Anthony’s CSI team, who had just bagged up the arm and was scribbling in her notebook.
‘Sure.’ The assistant unzipped the bag and pushed the plastic apart.
‘Fuck,’ Henley said under her breath. Her heartbeat quickened, her stomach flipped.
‘Oh,’ said Ramouter as he peered over Henley’s shoulder. One arm was covered with gravel. Slivers of seaweed criss-crossed old scars. The second arm. Slender wrist, the ring finger slightly longer than the index, broken fingernails. Black skin. Henley could hear Pellacia’s words from earlier ringing in her ears.
‘Too early to say if it belongs to the same victim or if it’s more than just one.’
‘Call DSI Pellacia,’ Henley told Ramouter. ‘Tell him that we’ve got two possible murder victims.’
NetGalley/ March 16th, 2021 by Hanover Square Press
DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey—master of suspense, J.D. Barker.
“I’m going to offer you a choice.”
J.D. Barker is truly a master of suspense and horror! Makes my black little heart all fluttery whenever I see his name on a book. This one is really scary because I can see this happening at any time.
Jordan Briggs is the female Howard Stern. Brash, in your face, controversial. A total bad-ass. She has no filter and doesn’t care in the least what she has to do to stay at the top of the ratings board. But this single- minded dedication to success has cost her. Her husband is now her ex. She hasn’t spoken to her mother in years. If not for Charlotte, her eleven -year -old daughter, she would be alone and she doesn’t seem too bothered about that.
If you get the impression she’s a pretty shallow and unpopular human being then you are correct.
Until… one day a caller asks if she would like to play a game. Angry because her boss has scheduled an interview with a rather shady senator, she decides to play along. And that sets into motion a series of events that lead to her past and the present colliding in awful ways.
Jordan has made some bad decisions in this business. Not very moral or ethical. And now she is about to pay for all of those. Consequences are always there waiting.
Is it odd to say I felt worse for the killer than Jordan? I understood his motivation although I didn’t agree with his deeds. You never know how your words and actions ripple out into the world until they find that one unstable person who is going to show you how much they matter.
Dare I say that I’ve replaced James Patterson with Barker? Well, I have.
NetGalley/ February 22nd, 2021 by Hampton Creek Press
Vampire hunter or serial killer? That depends on whether vampires exist . . .
Simon Helsing (not his real name) does believe. He has proof. And one by one he is staking them out. Literally.
Since a near-death experience in Bosnia years ago, he has tried to warn people about the dreaded lampir. Not many people believe him, but he keeps on killing them. They all work at night. That seems to be his main piece of evidence. He is also a contributor to the online chatroom HideTruth.
HideTruth is the brainchild of Lexi Tarada. She wants to believe and is looking for proof of the unexplained. There are some nutjobs on there, but Simon reaches out to her with proof that vampires are real.
The police have bodies and no belief in vampires. Detective Carrow is sure Simon is a serial killer. When the Vampire King (in Simon’s mind) throws his annual gala, it seems a good time for Lexi, Carrow, and Simon to come together. But not all of them are coming out alive.
This felt rushed to me and the ending was abrupt and left me with a lot of questions.
The Only Good Indians is the story of four American Indian men.
Something very disturbing happened to them when they were much younger. Something that haunts them to this day and puts them in danger of being killed by some entity bent on having revenge for the act they committed.
I am very familiar with the North Dakota reservations and the treatment of the Native Americans there. These men left their culture and lives behind to try and escape the bleakness of life on the rez.
This is a story of cultures lost, guilt, shame, and violence. It was at times difficult to read, but I did.
At times I was lost. At times I was terrified. And in the end, I cried.
NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press
Monday morning sunshine! We saw so many baby ducklings over the weekend. We were able to get out to the lake and catch some sun and watch people having secret meetings and smooches while napping and watching the boats.
Since our gym is closed OU Boy bought me a bicycle. And I am in awe over how well he knows me. It’s Rose Gold with a cup holder and a phone holder with a small insulated cooler on the front. It’s got gears but I don’t know what they are for yet. But y’all it is so much fun! I went and bought him one! I tore that parking lot up! And then storms came. And they stayed a long time. My poor plants were being tossed around outside, but it is tornado season and this weekend my poor Mississippi was tossed! Luckily our fam is okay.
You can tell this forced distance is making us all loopy. I bought an Insta Vortex 7 in 1 Air Fryer thingy. It’s pretty. I made ‘fried’ chicken in it and it was delicious. No fat, no shrinkage, just yum. OU Boy made bacon yesterday and my house didn’t smell, there was no smoke or grease everywhere.
We played Dominoes, and Scrabble. I hate Scrabble. I am OCD. With dominoes everyone knows to keep the lines straight. Scrabble is just a new mess with every word. We played Rummy and I won. I always win. And now we are feeling 100 percent after 6 weeks and I’m bored AF! I’m supposed to be looking at outdoor furniture for the condo but instead ordered some shoes and shorts.
I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I decided I should try on my skinny jeans just to be sure I wasn’t eating my emotions…or too much cake. At first I was alarmed and then OU Boy told me I was still wearing leggings and bike shorts. Oh, well we may have lost some brain cells.
Today I’m washing all of the pillows. That is how bored I am. Could I be reading? Why yes, Karen, I could. But I finished the new James Patterson-J.D.Barker book, The Cross -Country Murders, and it’s going to take me a few days to come down from that! Y’all know I love me some Barker horror. Combine that with Patterson’s experience and all I will say is September is looking good.
I tried to find a hobby. I have a basket full of crochet hooks and yarn. Turns out my favorite things are going out to eat, buying things in the store and touching my face. I haven’t discovered any new skills, I’m not baking anything because the gym is closed. Everything is clean. And this must be what prison is like. Trading sex for a ride in the car.